Dig In and Discuss…

Below you will find a chapter-by-chapter outline of the of the 20UNDER40 text. Follow the links to join a discussion of the themes of each chapter. We look forward to engaging you in dialogue surrounding the topics addressed in the anthology!

By Brian Newman

ABSTRACT: While predicting the future is difficult, it is worth analyzing current trends for possible clues as to what factors may help sculpt the decades to come, and how these factors may impact the cultural sector. This chapter will analyze seven trends that have the potential to profoundly influence the future of our arts organizations. While many are thought of as digital trends, they equally affect even the most unplugged of cultural institutions. Arts organizations should be directly involved in addressing these trends, as they will greatly shape the future of not just the arts, but of all culture.

Comments: (4)

By David J. McGraw

ABSTRACT: We have designed our arts organizations to last forever without any option for graceful exits. But what if an arts organization could be designed with a predetermined end-date? How would such an approach change the way we measure organizational success in the arts? Companies that adopt the Epoch Model—an organizational structure that plans for the limited-lifecycle of an arts group—benefit not just their artists and audiences, but also revitalize their local communities and the broader arts sector.

Comments: (3)

By Edward P. Clapp and Ann Gregg

ABSTRACT: In order to capitalize on the talents, skills, and unique generational perspectives of younger arts professionals, the authors make several recommendations for change in organizational practice, management, and culture. Based on findings from a 2007 pilot study investigating the current workplace experiences and future interests of young arts professionals, these recommendations include: valuing all individuals as leaders and agents of change; viewing individual leaders as instruments of greater, common purpose; fostering a polymathic approach to practice; addressing a need for omni-directional mentorship, and; investing in time for experimentation, exploration, and play.

Comments: (2)

By Sue Landis and Jessica Rivkin Larson

ABSTRACT: How may artistic strategies be harnessed to enhance administrative practice? In this chapter the authors report on a study of what leading artists and arts administrators address as key aspects of successful practice. Artists in their study identify questioning, critical listening, focused vision, and intelligent risk-taking as significant aspects of their work. Leading arts administrators agree that these characteristics are critical to success in the field. The authors conclude that by adapting these capacities young arts leaders may become truly “artistic” administrators capable of the greater innovation necessary to move the arts sector forward.

Comments: (0)

By Rebecca Novick

ABSTRACT: In the past fifteen years, the number of non-profit theater companies has doubled while audiences and funding have shrunk. Across the arts sector, thousands of young artists are flooding the field, hoping for sustainable careers in the arts while even our most venerable institutions are looking shaky. Neither the field nor the next generation of artists is served by the unexamined multiplication of companies based on the same old model. This chapter introduces some models for a new kind of arts institution, explores alternative paths for emerging and mid-career artists, and proposes a new definition of sustainability.

Comments: (1)

By Ian David Moss and Daniel Reid

ABSTRACT: In this chapter the authors argue that traditional market gatekeepers’ lack of capacity to evaluate the rapidly growing volume of art produced and distributed in the 21st century has dangerous implications for the socioeconomic diversity of successful artist-entrepreneurs. Drawing on crowdsourcing, a practice originating from the open-source software movement that centralizes the time and talent of dispersed individuals in productive ways, the authors envision a new model of institutional arts funding that promises a fairer and more meritocratic distribution of resources throughout the arts field. By channeling a portion of its grantmaking budget through a carefully cultivated online community of passionate and committed devotees of the arts, an enterprising philanthropic institution will enhance its ability to nurture the most promising artists and artist-driven organizations to maturity. At the same time, the forum will serve as an incubator of aspiring critical talent and a site for robust discussion of the rich tapestry of creative expression in the public life of our communities.

Comments: (5)

By Michelle Bellino and Michael Bellino

ABSTRACT: Recent decades have brought enormous material and structural changes to the film industry, so that the capacity to become a filmmaker is seemingly more within the reach of every individual than ever before. Despite this seeming democratization, screenwriting remains one of the most difficult and elusive careers to break into. This chapter focuses on the unique challenges of pursuing a career in a for-profit arts industry, exploring film’s inability to “professionalize” the art of screenwriting, the concept of distribution in digital contexts, and the industry’s daunting power differential. Drawing on our experience as a brother-sister screenwriting and filmmaking team, we demonstrate the interaction between the structural dynamics of the film industry and the internal apprehension that all writers face.

Comments: (0)

By Casey Lynch

ABSTRACT: This chapter will discuss a popular topic in contemporary artistic production: appropriation. The author will first discuss the notion of originality in the contemporary world, calling into question both the ideas of originality and appropriation when viewed as functions of the evolutionary process. The author will then discuss authorship and ownership in our contemporary digital society. In doing so, the author asks the question, “if no act is original, how can we allow ‘intellectual property’ to be owned?” A look into the nature of digital technology and various Internet phenomena will be used to address this question. The intended result of this inquiry is to further problematize the notions of purity in art, originality, and the intellectual rights of a creative author.

Comments: (0)

By Mariah Doren

ABSTRACT: This chapter follows the narrative of how an emphasis on originality in college art teaching is an impediment to a more open dialogue about meaning in artwork. It will examine how the idea of originality is presented to students and how meaning construction and objective assessment work at cross-purposes in traditional critiques. For art practices to function as a process of discovery, unfolding meanings and building value, we need to disengage its practices from linear expectations of originality and ideals of progress that are long standing traditions of assessment in art schools.

Comments: (0)

By Shannon Preto

ABSTRACT: As a result of an over-reliance on media and digital technology society has become more disembodied. Dance choreographers have fed into this phenomenon by choreographing visually extravagant or technologically enhanced dances with easily quantifiable technique. But by focusing on these two attributes, choreographers have disembodied their dancers and their audiences from the very thing unique to dance. As a result, dance is losing the richly textured and deeply expressive performing presence that is meant to extend into the theater and encircle its audiences. I propose that through embodied anatomy, dance choreographers can re-ignite a kinesthetic empathetic connection to their audiences.

Comments: (0)

By Elizabeth Lamb

ABSTRACT: This chapter investigates the ways in which leading arts administrators in Portland, Oregon understand and encourage arts participation of Gen Xers and Millennials, individuals ages 11-43. By examining administrators’ perceptions of arts participation patterns of these age cohorts, the author identifies emerging modes of arts participation and arts programming models. The findings provide insight into programming trends, as well as guiding principles for arts administrators who are developing arts programming for the 21st century arts participant.

Comments: (2)

By Claire Rice, Michael Mauskapf, Charlie Hack, and Forest Juziuk

ABSTRACT: Capturing the attention of the under-40 demographic is one of the primary concerns of today’s performing arts organizations as they consider long-term sustainability. How does an industry that has placed primacy on in-person, tangible experiences stay meaningful to a generation with immediate access to entertainment, information, and communication mechanisms? Through three success stories, this chapter argues that a performing arts organization’s philosophical motivation must evolve to balance authority with participation. This philosophy requires the active engagement of many in the DIY generation—individuals who want to participate in their arts experience, and use advances in communication to do so.

Comments: (0)

By Danielle La Senna

ABSTRACT: Arts appreciation courses for non-artist adult learners are a neglected area in the field of arts education. While adult students make up most of the contemporary arts audience, there are challenges to teaching this demographic. Adult students span 80+ years in age and have vastly different educational demands; most younger adults want greater interaction and participation, while many older adults prefer a “sit and listen” classroom. Participation and engagement are necessary for arts appreciation, and as the adult population shifts, more participatory pedagogical models will be necessary to accommodate the next generation of adults and the changing arts landscape of the future.

Comments: (0)

By Eric Oberstein

ABSTRACT: Following the 104th American Assembly conference in 2004, colleges and universities re-conceptualized the role of the arts in higher education, looking to the arts as a means of engaging their communities in a cross-campus, interdisciplinary fashion. Various currents facilitated this new momentum, including shifts in higher education goals at the turn of the Millennium, the emergence of funding entities interested in embedding the arts into the life of the academy, the evolution of the performing arts presenter into active producer and educator, and the development of university-based strategic planning initiatives around the arts.

Comments: (0)

By Marissa McClure

ABSTRACT: In this chapter, the author shares the story of an ongoing collaboration between undergraduate and graduate art and visual culture education students at the University of Arizona and Bicycle Inter-Community Action/Art and Salvage (BICAS), an organization dedicated to social reconstruction, sustainable design, and integrated, community-based art and education. This chapter offers an example of how students develop a border consciousness in working as collaborators with a sustainable community-based organization that caters to a diverse clientele. It complements research that considers the potentials of university/community collaboration at the pre-service level, negotiated curriculum involving sustainable materials, and investigations of issues of community, human, and civil rights through engagement with art and visual culture education.

Comments: (1)

By Rebecca Potts

ABSTRACT: The arts should play a larger role in addressing environmental and climatic issues to ensure that our species endures as creative animals acting in society for centuries to come. Arts and arts education practitioners can do this by developing a symbiotic relationship between the arts and the sciences thereby fostering collaboration between artists and scientists through the education system, cultural institutions, and informally. This symbiosis can create a “fourth culture,” a term used by Jonah Lehrer to describe a future in which art and science exist in a positive feedback loop to propel human knowledge forward. Through this fourth culture, the arts can meaningfully participate in climate change solutions.

Comments: (0)

By Jeff Lieberman and Eric Gunther

ABSTRACT: To move the arts and arts education into the future, we must look millions of years into the past, into the evolutionary history of our species and the role the arts have played in making us human. We are faced with unprecedented opportunities for a new symbiosis between the arts and sciences. For these two disciplines to assume their rightfully vital places in the education of future generations, they must acknowledge their mutual interdependence. Arts education must acknowledge and teach the science of beauty and science education, the beauty of science.

Comments: (0)

By Jennifer Groff

ABSTRACT: In an effort to increase student learning and achievement in today’s world via standards, accountability, and high-stakes testing, arts education has suffered considerably. Ironically, new research in cognitive neuroscience—intersected with the current proliferation and presence of digital media and communication—supports the critical need to emphasize and extend opportunities to engage in the arts during the K-12 experience. Emerging research is identifying the multiple cognitive processing systems we posses, and how our own aptitude with these systems impacts performance and achievement, demonstrating the importance in learning how to develop and leverage all our cognitive processing systems—leading to whole-mindedness. This chapter explores current methods for achieving this, and includes recommendations for strategies to develop whole-mindedness in students through the arts and other forms of media, content, and experiences.

Comments: (3)

By Kylie Peppler

ABSTRACT: Given the advent of digital experimentation in the arts, this chapter conceptualizes the role that media arts can play in educational settings by looking to the ways that professional artists manipulate digital media. This chapter argues that learning to creatively code constitutes the new fundamentals of arts education in a digital world. The chapter presents a survey of contemporary projects that use computation as a way to manipulate the medium of the computer, outlines core programming concepts for the novice reader, and showcases what inner-city youth are already creating through the use of computer programming.

Comments: (0)

By Bridget Matros

ABSTRACT: In this chapter the author takes a critical look at what’s going on amidst the pom-poms and glitter glue of pre-school arts and crafts and points to implications for individuals and the arts at large. Drawing on experience as a children’s museum visual arts educator, the author cites problematic practices and beliefs held by arts-phobic parents and teachers and provides practical examples of what can be done to nurture creativity during the often overlooked and undervalued period of early learning. Ultimately, the author argues that educating and empowering parents, caretakers, and teachers to support creative development during early childhood is an essential strategy to impact more children with a wider set of benefits than arts programs alone provide. She contends that this early intervention would additionally prime learners for arts enrichment in later years—ensuring fertile grounds for a generation that grows up fluent in, comfortable with, and expectant of the arts in all forms in their communities.

Comments: (0)